According to a new study funded by drug maker GW Pharmaceuticals, a liquid marijuana extract can aid in treating people with severe epilepsy. In fact, it is reportedly even more effective with patients who do not respond to other treatments.
The collegiate investigative team studied a total of 213 adult and child subjects suffering from epilepsy. The patients had one of 12 different kinds of epilepsy such as Lennonx-Gastant syndrome and Dravet syndrome which actually cause lifelong seizures and intellectual disability. Participants were treated with cannabidiol, a liquid form of medical marijuana, for a total of three months. The results were significant.
Liquid medical marijuana or cannabidiol did have some side effects. 12 patients pulled out of the project precisely because of this. 21 percent experienced drowsiness. 17 percent suffered from fatigue. 17 percent suffered from diarrhea and 15 percent had a decrease in appetite.
A total of 137 subjects completed the research study and they all had a lower seizure rate of 54 percent. One of the researchers, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, of New York University Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center in New York City, added that that 23 out of 137 patients who completed the study have Dravet syndrome had a lowered seizure rate of 53 percent. Those with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome had a 55 percent lowered rate of seizure.
Devinsky stated in a release: “So far there have been few formal studies on this marijuana extract. These results are of great interest, especially for the children and their parents who have been searching for an answer for these debilitating seizures.”
Dr. Scott Stevens, director of Advanced Clinical Experience in Neurology at North-Shore-LIJ Health System in Manhasset, New York, concluded: “Prior to this study, there were mainly anecdotal reports and very few formal studies evaluating cannabidiol, a component of cannabis, in treating seizures.” He believes this to be an important step in establishing medical marijuana as a legitimate treatment for epilepsy.
Marijuana Extract Tames Brain Seizures